This year marks 30 years since St Catherine’s Hospice opened. To celebrate its birthday year, the Lancashire Evening Post is backing the much-loved hospice’s Give a Gift appeal. Laura Wild finds out how fundraising makes a difference to the charity and the families it supports.
A popular Penwortham chip shop hosted a fish and chip celebration in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice – and raised enough money to cover the cost of running the in-patient unit for a day.
Godwin’s Fish and Chip Shop hosted the event in memory of Pat Johnson, who had owned the chippy for many years.
She was cared for by St Catherine’s Hospice and her family – who still own the shop which was set up by Pat’s mum in 1954 - wanted to do something to say ‘thank you’ for the support they received.
The weekend began with a quiz night in the neighbouring Black Bull pub on the Thursday, followed by a beach party on the Saturday.
On Sunday, the car park and beer garden were turned into an outdoor fish and chip party – with all the money raised through sales donated to the hospice.
There was music from local bands, a magician, balloon modeller and a visit from local biking enthusiasts.
Throughout the day brave family and staff members also took turns to sit in a bath of chips and peas - collecting donations and sponsorship in return for their dedication.
Pat died in 2012, aged 67. The fundraiser was held on June 1 last year, chosen by the family as it was the anniversary of Pat passing away.
The money raised was put together with the proceeds from a sky dive undertaken by chip shop worker Peter Marshall, and meant they raised more than £6,000 - enough to cover the cost of running the hospice in-patient unit for 24 hours as part of the Pay for a Day scheme.
They picked today – February 12 – as the day of hospice care to be delivered in Pat’s honour – which would have been her 70th birthday.
It also falls within St Catherine’s Hospice’s special 30th anniversary year in 2015. The hospice has joined forces with the Lancashire Evening Post to run the Give A Gift campaign, encouraging local people to give St Catherine’s a gift during their milestone year.
Daughter Carol Bracewell, 48, said: “We’re delighted with the money raised and would like to say a huge thank you to all of our customers and supporters who have shown such generosity.
“The care Mum received from St Catherine’s – both at day therapy and later on the in-patient unit – was excellent. It had been very difficult as her condition deteriorated – she was very independent so it was tough for her when things became hard to manage. When she arrived at St Catherine’s and seemed to settle in – saying she felt safe and looked after – it was a huge weight off our minds.
“We are very grateful for the support she received and it is a fitting tribute to Mum that funds raised in her memory have helped other people have access to the same vital care.
“The concept of Pay for a Day really helped us to go that extra mile, spurring us on to generate the extra funds we needed to be able to meet the target. I’d certainly recommend it to others who are thinking of supporting St Catherine’s during their special 30th anniversary year.”
Carol, who was helped in the fundraising efforts by sons Kevin and Alex and husband Justin, said visiting the hospice today to see their Pay for a Day certificate in place would be a nice way to celebrate Pat’s birthday.
Lynne Whittaker, senior fundraiser at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “We are so grateful to Carol and her family for their fantastic efforts in raising this amazing total. We’re delighted they were able to reach their target and pay for a day of care on such a special date for them as a family.”
• If you or your business or organisation are interested in ‘paying for day’ of hospice care at St Catherine’s email email@example.com or call her on 01772 324540.
• For more information about the Give A Gift campaign visit www.stcatherines.co.uk or www.lep.co.uk/give-a-gift-appeal to find out how you can get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01772 695290.